Tree Care in Winter

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Winter Tree Care Best Practices

Should I Prune my Trees?YES!  Long-term management of pruning can ensure your trees continue to provide the aesthetic value and function they intended. Proper, conscientious pruning can enhance the beauty and function of your trees, while reducing the potential for loss of limbs or other failures during winter storms.

Why prune in winter?

When the leaves have dropped in the fall, it is easier for your arborist to see the structure of your trees. When summer annuals have been removed, there is less risk of disrupting your landscape when working on large trees. In regions where the soil freezes, equipment can often gain closer access, which can enhance our safety and reduce your costs. Winter Pruning can also avoid enhancing some serious disease that are active and spread easily during the growing seasons of spring and summer.

Should I mulch in winter?

Yes, you can. Mulching is an important enhancement for your trees. Mulch retains soil moisture, reduces summer soil temperatures, increases winter soil temperature and moisture restores and improves soil nutrient levels and structure.

Which other tree care activities can I do in winter?

Winter is a good time to consult a professionally trained arborist to inspect your trees. Winter foliage loss provides a clearer view for spotting some problems, such as weak branch attachments or insect damage, but an arborist can help you determine the best solutions for your trees. Consider the following:

  • Winter is a suitable time for putting cables on  your trees, if necessary.
  • If your trees have cables and braces in them.
  • Inspect your trees and shrubs for ice damage in winter.
  • Buy a Waterhoop water sprinkler for tree irrigation.
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Drought killed over 66 Million Trees in California drought since 2010

Over 66 Million trees were killed in the California’s Sierra Nevada forest since 2010 have died in a six-county region of central and southern Sierra reported by the U.S. Forest Service.  This California drought is one of the worst we’ve seen yet.
California tree hugger California drought tree care

To curb off dangerous potential for wild fires the Forest Service says it has cut down 77,000 trees that pose the greatest risk to people, communities and campgrounds.

Water restrictions for the home owner in California has been a challenge.  It’s hard to keep their personal landscapes alive and well, when these things happen.  Many owners are using more localized watering solutions such as the Waterhoop ® tree sprinkler or a soaker hose for their trees, flowers, garden and shrubs.

Tree study could help cities improve planting

 

More than half the world’s people and 80 percent of the U.S. population live in urban areas. Trees benefit these residents by filtering the air, reducing temperatures and beautifying landscapes. According to a new study led by Adam Dale, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of entomology, these benefits are reduced when trees are planted in unsuitable urban landscapes. However, guidelines can be developed to lead urban tree- planting decisions in a more sustainable direction.

Dale spearheaded the study while at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previous research by Dale and his colleagues found that impervious surfaces raise temperatures, which increase pest abundance and tree stress, ultimately reducing tree health. He and his team examined the so-called “gloomy scale insect,” which feeds on tree sap and appears as small bumps on the bark of trees.

In the new study, Dale and his team developed guidelines that landscape professionals can use to make more informed urban tree-planting decisions. Although the new study was done in North Carolina and limited to red maple trees, Dale said the findings may be applicable to trees throughout the Southeast.

Through their research, scientists developed thresholds of impervious surface around planting sites. In other words, they defined points at which the amount of pavement around a tree reduces its condition. Using these established levels of impervious surface, landscape architects and other landscape professionals can plant trees in a way that reduces pest damage and economic loss.

“This study demonstrates the effects of the most common features of urban landscapes — roads, parking lots, and buildings — on insect pests and trees, and proposes guidelines for mitigating them,” Dale said.

The study also proposes a method that can be used at a planting site. It’s called the “Pace to Plant” technique. By simply walking 100 steps around a site, landscape professionals can estimate the amount of surrounding impervious surface and use the developed thresholds to guide their tree-planting decisions.

“The hope is that more informed planting will minimize pest infestations and maximize the vigor and performance of street trees,” researchers said in the study, published in this month’s issue of the journal Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. “The decision-making tools presented here will help planners and urban forest managers get the right tree in the right place to reduce future maintenance costs and increase tree survival and services.”

 

The above post is provided by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The original item was written by Brad Buck. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

This article was found at Sciencedaily.com

 

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Crowd-Funding Platforms Astronomical Growth Year After Year.

In 2012 Funds raised via crowdfunding reached to upwards to $2.7 billion dollars. In 2013 it is estimated that over $5 Billion changed hands from investors to inventors, (As reported by Crowd Funding Statistics). This gives anyone a chance to possibly change their life.

The idea of raising money through crowd funding, so your company or idea can take the next step, is truly genius. Giving the public a chance to stand behind a new idea, product design, or bet on someones dreams. Waterhoop are one of these companies who just started a new Kickstarter campaign that ends on March 4, 2016. Kickstarter Waterhoop Link: Kickstarter Waterhoop Live Link for product fund raising.

According to David Ford, President of Waterhoop, states; “We are truly grateful to have the opportunity to showcase a new idea for a new water sprinkler design for garden lovers. In the last 40 years, new ideas and designs have been lackluster in the water sprinkler product design field…that is, until now. Kickstarter could be the key for us. That means we might just get the necessary equipment to speed up our production process, with the help of every day people…it’s just amazing.”

Not so long ago people thought the only way to break into the market on a shoestring budget, was to have Oprah Winfrey mention it on her highly rated tv show; Oprah. Move over Wall Street, move over Oprah, there is a new kid in town, and it’s called “Crowdfunding”.
Waterhoop ® new lawn and garden water sprinkler has a new Kickstarter campaign that runs until March 4th, 2016.
Waterhoop ® water sprinkler is new revolutionary water sprinkler design that can water trees, flowers, shrub and plants. Waterhoop ® water sprinkler can help conserve water and save time.

4 Cash Saving Tips for Lawn & Garden Care.

It’s that time of year again; time for your beautiful green grass surrounded by newly planted trees will be the envy of all your neighbors.

The National Gardening Association estimates that the U.S. households spent over 28 billion dollars on their lawn and gardens in 2013.  Here are some major cash saving tips for keeping your lawn and garden in check.

1. Over seed your grass – Let’s say your lawn was planted several decades ago, it’s possible that your species is more prone to disease and requires more care and feeding than newer, more drought friendly species of grass.  Of course you don’t have to start all over, you simply have to over seed your lawn.

The best time to seed is in the fall to for a better yield in the spring.  You can waste money on your lawn and garden care by seeding at the incorrect times.  If you seed in the spring, it only has a very limited time to take root and mature…the summer heat is a killer.

2. Aerate your lawn- Aerate each fall.  Aeration is simply poking holes in your lawn to loosen the soil.  Aerating helps remove the lawn dark color build up between the soil and the base of the grass;and your yard will breath and retain moisture easier.  You can rent your own aerate machine or hire a company to do it for you.  It’s a great investment for a healthy lawn.

3.  Water your grass at the right time – Many people make the mistake in lawn and garden care to water at the wrong time of the day.  If you water during the day, the hot and dry weather quickly evaporates.  If you water at night, that can cause disease or fungus because of the wet conditions.  The best time to water your lawn and garden is between 4 a.m and 8 a.m.

4. Leave your grass taller – Don’t mow the grass low.  Keep your grass cut high. This saves you money because of less watering and allows the grass to have a longer root system.

Happy Lawn and Garden Care season!

 

 

Watering Trees – How to guide

Trees constantly lose water to the atmosphere. Water is the single most limiting essential resource for tree survival and growth. Water shortages severely damage young and old trees alike, and set-up healthy trees for other problems. Drought conditions can lead to tree decline, pest problems, and non-recoverable damage. Supplemental watering can greatly assist in maintaining tree health during droughts – both during the growing season or during the dormant season.

Trees can be old and valuable. They are usually considered non-replaceable beyond 10 inches in diameter. Many associated landscape plants are low cost and easily replaceable. If these plants are damaged or lost to drought, the landscape can be corrected quickly and relatively cheaply. Large, drought-killed trees can not be replaced in two human generations. Please emphasize watering trees during droughts.

How

Ideally, irrigation should automatically begin when soil moisture reaches some critical measure determined by a moisture probe or soil tensiometers. Trees should be zoned apart from turf and other landscape plants. Careful tuning of irrigation systems are needed to prevent over-watering trees.

Manually, the best ways to water trees are by (drip) irrigation which you turn on and off such as a Tree Sprinklers you can find in the market place.  Even a garden hose, moved often, can provide a good soil soaking although can be time consuming but I personally like to find a good tree sprinkler.  Use a light organic mulch to conserve moisture and apply water over the top of the mulch.

Deep watering a tree with a pipe or wand stuck into the soil 12-24 inches is not as good for trees as surface applications. Most of the tree’s absorbing roots are in the top foot of soil. Applying water deeper than this level misses the active roots and allows water to drain away from the roots, wasting efforts and water. Apply water across the soil surface and let it soak into the soil. Surface soaking allows tree roots more chances to absorb any water, helps maintain soil health, and helps maintain essential element cycling and transformations in the soil. There are many tree watering products on the market by companies like Bosch watering, Grainger, Teknorapex and Water King Tree Sprinkler by Water King. 

Where

Lay-out water hoses or applicators out to the tree crown edge (drip-line). Try to water the soil areas directly beneath the foliage and shaded by the tree.  Be sure the water soaks in well. Use mulch and slow application rates on slopes, heavy soils (clays), and compacted soils to assure water is soaking-in and not running-off. If the tree is surrounded with other landscape plants, or by turf, deep soaking water applications will benefit all. Do not spray tree foliage when applying water. Water droplets on tree leaves can lead to pest problems and destruction of leaf tissue through sun damage. Try not to wet the upper trunk if possible.

Young, newly planted trees need additional watering care. Water does not move sideways in a soil. You must apply water directly over where you need water in a soil. For new trees, concentrate water over the root ball, as well as the planting area, to assure survival.

Old, large trees can be extensively watered over the entire area under their foliage. Another method in watering large trees is to select roughly 1/3 of the area whin the drip-line for concentrated water applications. The whole area below the foliage can be watered occasionally.

When

The best time to water is at night from 8 pm to 8 am. Trees relieve water deficits (refill) over the night time hours. Watering at night allows effective use of applied water and less evaporative loss, assuring more water moves into the soil and tree. Night time application hours, when dew is already present, does not expand the foliage wetting period for understory plants. This watering cycle minimizes pest problems.

The next best time to water is when foliage is dry and evaporation potential is not at its daily peak. This watering period is late afternoons. Be sure to allow applied water to dry-off of foliage surfaces before the evening dew appears. This dry gap between watering and atmospheric condensation helps minimize pests which require longer wetting periods. This is especially critical where turf surrounds a tree.  Of course it’s important to get water to your trees, so water whenever your schedule allows.

Because trees lose water from day to day, month to month, and season to season – dormant season watering during winter drought is important, especially for evergreen trees and juvenile hardwood trees that have not lost their leaves. Because of temperature and relative humidity interactions, much less water is required in the dormant season, but water is still needed. Do not water when the soil surface is less than 40°F.

For every 18°F increase in temperature, the amount of water lost by a tree and the site around it almost doubles. This feature of water loss must be factored into applying supplemental water to a tree. Trees surrounded by pavement and other hot, hard surfaces can be 20-30°F warmer than a tree in a protected, landscaped backyard. Water use rapidly climbs with increasing temperatures, and so should water application volumes.

How Much

Depending upon soil texture, bulk density, daily temperatures, and rainfall amounts, 1-3 inches of water per week should keep a tree healthy. Trees in limited rooting areas, in containers or pots, or on major slopes, need additional care to assure water is reaching the root system in adequate amounts and not suffocating roots from lack of drainage. Five gallons per square yard is about 1 inch of water.

Fine soils (clays) require careful attention to prevent over-watering and root death. Sandy soils can be severely droughty because water runs out of the rooting zone quickly. There are some water holding compounds that are commercially available for keeping water near roots. In addition, composted organic material additions and organic mulch covers on the soil surface can help hold and prevent rapid loss of applied water.

How Often

Trees should be watered once or twice a week in the growing season if there is no rainfall in that particular week. A few heavy (high volume) waterings are much better than many light, shallow waterings. A greater proportion of the applied water is utilized by the tree with heavy watering. Also, light waterings encourage shallow rooting which can lead to more severe drought damage. Once you begin watering you should continue to water until rain comes.

Other Things

Many plants in a small area can effectively compete within the soil to use available water. This water competition can be severe. Remove excess plant competition from around any tree to decrease water stress. Use mulch to conserve water and prevent weed competition. Careful applications of herbicides can also reduce weed competition for water, but severe drought conditions can lead to unexpected results.

When landscape watering is not allowed because of water-use restrictions, “gray water” could be used. Gray water is waste water from household bathtub, shower, sink, dishwasher, and/or washing machine. Gray water use is approved in only a limited number of counties. You must check to see if it is legal in your county or city. Gray water will play a greater role in water conservation in the future. Sodium-based exchange-softened water should not be applied to soils.

Xeriscaping, or developing water-efficient landscapes, is becoming more important. There are a number of concepts involved in developing a water-efficient landscapes, when integrated wisely, will conserve water while providing a functional and aesthetically pleasing landscape. Trees are a critical part of any water-efficient landscape.

The resource and author was found at the Warnell School of Forest Resources, The University of Georgia. Visit uga.com